OIL PULLING: No. Just no.

Nowadays millennials can spew out health and beauty fads more fluently than “Anchorman” quotes.  In between the daily struggles of #selfies, compulsively checking Instagram, and stalking your latest crush on Facebook, health and beauty has become less of a focus on health, and more of a focus on a David Copperfield illusion of wellness.

Let’s face it: it’s far more motivating to think modern technology has miraculous weight loss tips or genetically engineered food with negative calories.  But here we are, in 2014, with the facts.  If you want to lose weight, you have to diet and exercise.

What about oral hygiene?  Brush and floss?  Ha!  It’s no secret that for most of us the last time that white thread was in-between our teeth was when the hygienist did the honors 6 months ago… right?

Oil Pulling” seems much more effective [enter heavy dose of sarcasm here].  20 minutes of swishing coconut oil will miraculously negate a year of drunken pass-outs sans brushing.  It may even detox your body from the countless preservatives you binged ate while watching “Frozen”… all while leaving you feeling like you accomplished a 20 minute oral workout.  That’s what the internet tells us.

But what does science tell us?  Save yourself 17 minutes a day.   Brushing and flossing will reap true benefits, and you won’t sound like an idiot to all of your friends.  Properly brushing and flossing will whiten, decrease cariogenic bacteria, freshen your breath, prevent cavities, and re-mineralize teeth.   Evidence supporting oil pulling is purely anecdotal; and yes, swishing a viscous oil could aid in removing bacteria biofilm that has accumulated on the surfaces of your teeth; however, brushing not only does this in less time, but it also replenishes your teeth with fluoride, making teeth stronger and preventing cavities.  In addition, flossing is the only tool we have that can clean the bacteria that’s having a party in-between our teeth and under our gums (GROSS).  Flossing has the added benefit of ridding your perfect smile from interproximal cavities and gingivitis… something that an Instagram filter won’t do.


So the next time you want to “oil pull”, skip the oil and just “pull” the floss out.  #justdoit



Mary Beth Sorrentino, D.M.D., received her Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.  She is currently a dentist in Charleston, SC.



*Image from worldtruth.tv


  One thought on “OIL PULLING: No. Just no.

  1. Darren
    April 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I read somewhere else that oil pulling was good for you though. Plus you don’t have to deal with toxic fluoride or the hassles of dental floss. Who can reach their back teeth with that stuff(floss)? Who can scrub their back teeth with a toothbrush all that well either, for that matter?

    Plus, who wants to expose themselves to other toxic things when we already have plenty of things to worry about already such as mercury laden fillings or autism inducing vaccines? The last time I had a silver filling done I swear it picked up radio frequencies and then 10 years later caused fibromyalgia and eventually lead to brain damage.

    Oh, I also needed a root canal on another tooth. Afterwards the tooth still felt funny. I saw a natural dentist and he said that it wasn’t healthy to leave a dead tooth in the mouth. He pulled all my teeth and now I have a rockin set of dentures made out of natural things such as shells and silly putty. I can smile really nice now. I still pull oil though to help detoxify my body.

    I hope I helped all of you who were still on the fence about the benefits of palm oil. Rinse w/ palm oil for a more natural life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. April 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Reblogged this on tyrerdentalcare and commented:
    Have you tried this latest fad??


  3. jenni
    April 21, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    This article is false, I have been oil pulling for months now and it does work. Don’t listen to this crap… If dentists told the truth they would go out of business… There is no proof here..


    • April 22, 2014 at 1:18 pm


      Thanks so much for your comment and response. You are entitled to your opinion just as much as MB is entitled to her professional and well-researched opinion. We appreciate all perspectives as long as they are not intentionally or purposefully attacking another person, using profanity, or just plane nasty in nature.

      Just to make sure I am following you right; with your logic, in the situation of my father who had open-heart surgery to have multiple bypasses performed, cardiovascular surgeons would also tell people just to do whatever they want and they can fix them later and not promote healthy eating, exercise, and not smoking because it would put them out of business?

      – Corey

      Founder, RemixYourHealth


  4. June 16, 2015 at 7:51 am

    It’s hard to believe the author of this article is a D.M.D. She sounds like a teen. Below is an article from Web MD endorsing oil pulling.


    Corey I don’t think MB did any research. If she had no doubt she would have come across several articles in pubmed by doing a simple google of “oil pulling pubmed”.


    • sorrenme
      June 16, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Hi Randy,

      Thanks for your comment! It’s unfortunate that some readers place value in a “Web MD” article written by Colleen Oakley, an Atlanta based fiction author. Regardless, Ms. Oakley does cite some good sources, but if you read carefully, you’ll note that the content of both my article and Ms. Oakley’s actually isn’t contradictory. Brushing and flossing is by far the most important thing. That’s the take-home message.

      It seems as though my Ivy League dental education, residency, and years of clinical experience hasn’t barred me from writing pieces that are aimed at the teen and college level. I’m glad you agree.


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